Last week, I was involved in a discussion with some other mums about trying to change our autistic kids, and that they were not interested in “curing” them because then they wouldn’t be the same kids they love and accept as they are.

I know the “cure” word stirs up all sorts of emotions amongst autism mums – should we hope for a cure, is it possible to cure autism, would you do anything for a cure?? But then “cure” means different things to different people. I don’t like to use the word “cure” – for me it sounds too simple, like popping a pill or changing a diet suddenly made the child completely “normal” (there’s another emotive word, what’s normal?) or made the autistic behaviours go away. Way too simple. I like the word “recovered”. Like, I don’t think you can be “cured” of a broken limb, but you can “recover” to gradually regain use of it and use it like you did before. That’s how I like to think of what I’m doing for my son.

I accept and love my son unconditionally, 1000%, would not change him for all the tea in China. BUT, I do not think that in order to “accept” him that he has to live with pain and discomfort that manifests in screaming all day, not sleeping, pooing in his pants and not speaking. Anything I do to “recover” him is to make him healthy, happy and able to reach his full potential. I do not believe that in order to love and accept my son that I sit back and do nothing and say “Well that is how God made him and how he should be”. I do not believe that by healing his physical ills that I am changing him or taking away the essence of who he is. He is a bright, smart, funny and very quirky boy. And he will always be that way and I love him for that. And I will apologise to nobody for everything that I’ve done that has meant he is now toilet trained and talking and in mainstream school and happy and healthy and achieving his full potential … and still quirky. Just how I love him.